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Question

The manager’s dilemma
Imagine you are a manager in a company that is in a difficult financial situation. If your customers learn about the company’s difficulties, many of them will cancel their orders. Without these orders you will have to lay off 500 employees, that is, 30% of the employees, within one year. However, if the market gets better, the company may overcome the difficulties. The accounting firm that audits your company has suggested indirectly that they could “decorate” the figures which will give you some time, but there is no guarantee that things will improve, because times are hard. The question is if you should try to keep your employees even at the cost of keeping important information secret to your customers, although they have a right to know the financial status of your company.
How would a utilitarian and a Kantian reason about this dilemma? Would Jeffrey Swartz, Timberland’s CEO, who discussed a variety of issues in “Doing Well and Doing Good”, side with the utilitarian or the Kantian? Would honesty as such be important for him? Or would such a question not make sense to a business person as Timberland’s CEO?
Please write a 300-500 word essay in which you discuss the ethical implications of the manager’s decision. Who will be affected by his/her decision? Who counts most, the employees, the customers, the consumers, or somebody else? What is most important: trustworthiness or utility? Why?
Please explain why you believe they would hold the position you suggest and why you believe they would agree or disagree.

 

Solution ID:436786 | This paper was updated on 26-Nov-2015

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